A friend of mine died too young. We’ll call him Frank. Frank was a big man with a voice to match. Frank liked to show up uninvited around dinner time and eat us out of house and home. Frank liked hot, spicy food and was very proud of his farts. Frank was older than me, overweight, and already worked backstage in the theatre I also ended up working in for many years.
A year or so after Frank’s death, I had swapped working on stage for working at stage door. One night… or very early one morning, after a Lets Zep gig (a Led Zeppelin tribute band), I was doing my rounds, locking up and putting lights off. At this point there was just me and the stage manager in the entire building.
I had just come through from front of house and entered the level 2 corridor through the fire doors at one end. As I entered the long carpeted hallway, I saw Frank at the other end, as if he’d just walked through the fire doors there. He looked absolutely real… looking exactly as he had when we first met. His hair was much longer then, and he was a tad thinner.
I stopped in my tracks, just watching him as he took a few steps towards me and then turned into one of the toilets. This is significant because Frank was a flyman. He would normally have used the toilets on level six or seven. However, whenever someone Frank didn’t like was appearing at the theatre, he would make a point of using the toilets on level 2 which were adjacent to the star dressing rooms. Frank was famous for producing some truly noxious aromas. His nuclear waste. One time, a Hollywood standard movie star that Frank really didn’t like, got the nuclear treatment. Within a few days she had demanded that he be officially barred from using those same toilets for the duration of her run. Frank’s work was done.
Anyway, as soon as he disappeared into the toilet… closing the door behind him, I got on my radio and spoke to the stage manager. I told him who I’d seen. His office wasn’t far from where I was still standing, and he joined me to check out the toilet in question. The door was still closed so you can imagine two adults creeping up on that door like it was a dangerous beast, and then touching it like it was burning hot, both of us ready to run for the hills at the drop of a hat. But Frank wasn’t in there. Of course he wasn’t; he was long past the need for toilet facilities. But the stage manager said it made sense to him, because Frank had always hated Led Zeppelin. If he’d been alive, Frank would no doubt have come down from the fly floor to drop off his nuclear waste in that same toilet.
I remember this like it was yesterday, and feel honoured that Frank showed himself to me. I know very little of the paranormal, but I do believe there’s something in it. It may simply be that we living humans just haven’t worked out why these things happen and, when we do, there will be some science and nature explanation. Until then, I’m a believer in a lot of things that defy explanation.